Marginality as Centrality: South Korea’s Alternative Creative Cities

    Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


    This paper tries to present the parallel existence of a more publicized narrative of the global creative city of South Korea and the ‘marginal’ stories of self-organized artists and cultural activists. The study will begin with the official presentation of Seoul as a creative city in its application to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Next, by discussing two case studies, ‘Seoul Urban Art Project’ and AGIT in Busan, the paper unfolds the different meanings of urban space created through languages, visual representations and events that happened outside the official narratives. I contend that there is an interesting relativity between the ‘centrality’ and ‘marginality’ of a particular space, city and a kind of market or community that is constantly changing not only with the shifts of subjectivities that tell the stories, but more importantly, with the ways where the spaces and visual tools are actually occupied, used and distributed. All these may prompt a re-contemplation of the concept of ‘creative city’ not just as a progressive modernist project obsessed with creating the new in the future, but also as a horizontally force field, where encounters of energies on various orders of magnitude may also constitute a powerful creative present.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-57
    Number of pages19
    JournalCreative Industries Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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